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Publisher's Summary

In recent decades, the philosophy of humor has been recognized as a legitimate subfield of philosophy. The reason for this? Because to understand how humor works is to better understand the nature of human experience.

In these 24 insightful, informative, illuminating, and (yes) humorous lectures, explore the philosophical theories and explanations of humor, from blatantly obvious puns to complex narratives to sly twists of language. Rooted in analytic philosophy, the natural and social sciences, and the observations of thinkers ranging from Aristotle and Jonathan Swift to Sigmund Freud and Robert Latta, these lectures will leave you with a stronger appreciation of the jokes you tell and the jokes you hear.

You’ll ponder the possible universality of humor in history and culture, the debate over humor’s objectivity or subjectivity, and the complex relationship between humor and tragedy. You’ll also unpack each of the six existing theories of humor, including the superiority theory (in which to joke is to mock and put someone beneath your level) and play theory (in which humor is a species of the phenomenon of play). 

You don’t need a philosophy degree to explore the philosophy of humor. All you need is an open mind. (A funny bone or two helps as well.)

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 The Great Courses (P)2018 The Teaching Company, LLC

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Indeed philosophy

The course asks questions and gives no answers (even though some of the questions clearly could be answered. It's an interesting and somewhat amusing journey (although almost none of the many jokes resonated with me). I was a bit disappointed with the strong focus on ancient views of the mind (Plato, Aristotle, Freud).

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sebastian Meiser
  • 01-03-19

Indeed philosophy

The course asks questions and gives no answers (even though some of the questions clearly could be answered. It's an interesting and somewhat amusing journey (although almost none of the many jokes resonated with me). I was a bit disappointed with the strong focus on ancient views of the mind (Plato, Aristotle, Freud).

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sebastian Meiser
  • 01-03-19

Indeed philosophy

The course asks questions and gives no answers (even though some of the questions clearly could be answered. It's an interesting and somewhat amusing journey (although almost none of the many jokes resonated with me). I was a bit disappointed with the strong focus on ancient views of the mind (Plato, Aristotle, Freud).

0 of 1 people found this review helpful